2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Review: The No-Fuss Gas-Saver

– Detroit, Michigan

Equipping a minivan with a plug-in hybrid powertrain makes all the sense in the world. After all, minivans often make short trips with lots of stop-and-go driving, so using regenerative brakes and ultra-efficient motors for those journeys is only logical. With a traditional gas engine on board, though, you can still load up your Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid for a cross-country road trip; because it’s not a full-electric car, there’s no range anxiety to speak of. The plug-in Pacifica is, then, perhaps the most practical version of a very practical vehicle.

 

 

Pros

Impressive efficiency. The Pacifica Hybrid uses very little gas, especially compared to other minivans. When you fully charge up the battery pack, you can drive as far as 33 miles without using a drop of gasoline. And when you do have to use the gas engine, the EPA rates the Pacifica Hybrid at 32 miles per gallon combined, which is also up from the 28 mpg combined rating of a non-hybrid Pacifica. Fully recharging the 16-kilowatt-hour battery takes only two hours on a Level 2 charger, so if you have a short commute or run lots of errands close to home, it would be possible to drive for a long time using only electricity.

Easy to use as a hybrid. To operate the Pacifica Hybrid, you simply get in, push the Start button, and twist the rotary shifter to Drive. There are no driving modes to mess with, no unusual procedures. It drives like a minivan and the computers do the thinking of improving efficiency....